We have discovered how to design unique minimal surfaces capable of supporting human loads. This chair demonstrates our innovation. Read more
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on February 13, 2012.
About this project
UPDATE (Feb.8) : We've replaced the rendered image of the Spiney Chair with an image of one actually completed. This should give you a better idea of what the final product will look like.
(For more detail, please see our full presentation here http://slidesha.re/zLYfi0)
Our company has discovered how to design unique minimal surfaces capable of supporting human loads. While many architects, industrial designers and sculptors have attempted to tame its power, the minimal surface has long remained in the world of theory and imagination. It is a shape ubiquitous in nature, aesthetically pleasing and, most importantly, capable of redistributing structural forces evenly throughout the shape, thereby drastically diminishing the limitations imposed by point loads. Harnessing this property of the minimal surface for a structural system will open startling and unforeseen possibilities in construction. It will also maximize the potential uses of materials and obviate many dependencies we have on carbon intensive means of production such as steel and reinforced concrete.
We believe this is a historic achievement and as our company’s first creation we have designed a chair which will demonstrate our innovation. We have designed the chair and all we need now is the help of the Kickstarter community to make it real.
The Minimal Surface Chair
These are renderings from our in-progress design work on the first ever minimal surface chair. It will be the world’s first built demonstration of how one may take advantage of minimal surface structural efficiencies to support a human being. We believe this represents not only the next step in the evolution of the chair, but also the beginning of a whole new phase of design in architecture.
This chair is vastly unlike any that has come before. It has two surfaces, one on the top and one on the bottom, that meet at the seams not only to create the classic shape of a chair we could all recognize, but also to equally distribute the structural forces of the live load throughout the surface. Although this shape might seem to imply the use of a conventional compression based structural system, instead it actually serves to exhibit our unique ability to sculpt the minimal surface uniquely.
The chair in its entirety is a minimal surface and all points on all its surfaces have a mean curvature of zero. While we have our own internal means of verifying that this is the case, we will be creating a more direct and actual exhibition as proof. We will be creating a miniature ‘bubble model’ of the chair, or a plastic rigging which one could dip in a container of soapy water and extract to reveal the exact shape of the chair made of a soap film.
We are offering the following rewards at different pledge levels in order to raise funds to pay for all materials and equipment rental fees required to successfully fabricate and test the prototype. Details of each reward are as follows:
We recognize the crucial role the Kickstarter community has played in making countless projects a success. As such, we will be crediting people who make pledges as having had different roles, depending on the amount pledged. If you make a $10 pledge, you will be credited as a ‘Contributor’ on our website and our monograph. If you make a $20 pledge you will be credited as an ‘Associate Producer’ and for $60 you will be credited as a ‘Producer’. For the $150, $200 and $220 pledges you will have reached the position of ‘Executive Producer’ and for all pledges above $500, you will be one of a limited number of ‘Senior Executive Producers’. These roles are not arbitrarily assigned as they reflect the degree of contribution made and it is real credit for which we will vouch.
Open Studio Party
In the event that our Kickstarter project is successful in meeting its funding goal, we will be hosting a Open Studio Party in the Tri-State area in New York City and, depending on the number and origin of pledges, another in Paris France. There will be catering, a limited guest list and you will have the opportunity to meet either or both the Chief Designer Andrew Miller and Co-Founder Thomas Cantor and to view various pieces of Andrew’s work. Pledges above $200 will be guaranteed an invitation while pledges above $500 are rewarded with invitations for two.
We will create a monograph, containing text and pictures not publically available, pertaining to the minimal surface and our view on its implications for architecture and industrial design. There will be a section on the monograph crediting all those who contributed in order of seniority. This will be a unique reward for Kickstarter pledges and it will be given in PDF format to those who make $20 pledges and a signed printed version of the monograph will be posted to those who make $30 pledges or more (Please add $10 for international delivery).
Not only will there be high definition renders of the chairs final fabricated form, but also those of other possible versions of the chair that were devised during research and development. Additionally the monograph will give a great opportunity to see how the concept emerged in stages from simple idea to fully a fleshed out fabrication scheme. There will be more detailed diagrams that explain some of the deeper ideas behind minimal surface structural systems and the highly intriguing possibilities for the future, and a few slides of past work from our chief designer.
Lifetime access to the Members Only section on www.mSurfaces.com
If you make a $60 pledge or more, you will receive lifetime access to the members only section at www.mSurfaces.com where you can participate in the creative process. You will help us name our future products, brainstorm ideas, develop the business and so on. The section currently does not exist on the website but it will be created after our funding goal is met.
Miniature model of The Minimal Surface Chair
For a $100 pledge, you will receive a miniature plastic model of the Minimal Surface Chair. The model will be solid, made of a white plastic similar to that which is to make Lego and approximately 10cm x 8cm in size. As we are making a limited number, we feel this miniature model of the Minimal Surface Chair could become a collectors item in the future.
Bubble model of The Minimal Surface Chair
As discussed earlier, we will be creating a miniature plastic rigging which you can dip into a container of soapy water, which you would then pull out to create the shape of The Minimal Surface Chair in bubble form. Since a bubble and anything made of soap film is a minimal surface, this miniature Bubble Model can be used both as a nifty toy to show to your friends and as proof that the chair is in fact a minimal surface. This is the reward for a $120 pledge.
Half an hour with Chief Designer Andrew Miller
Our Chief Designer Andrew Miller is hard at work designing future products and looking for additional funding. As one of the rewards of the $150 pledge, you can have a 30 minute Skype conversation with him to discuss a subject of your choice.
Minimal Surface Lamp made of fabric
(Image is a top-down view of the lamp) The Minimal Surface Lamp is modelled on Costa’s minimal surface, a primitive minimal surface discovered in 1982. While it is not a unique minimal surface nor does it demonstrate the ability to support human loads like the Minimal Surface Chair, it was also designed by Andrew Miller. It will function both as a lamp and an attractive ornamental piece. Due to the time required to construct this reward, it is available only at the $500 pledge level.
Minimal Surface Lamp made with Corian
(Image is a bottom-up view of the lamp) Corian is a highly versatile solid surface material created by DuPont and is highly resistant to cracking and breaking. The Minimal Surface Lamp made from this material is one of Andrew’s first personal creations and was the predecessor to the fabric version. Since this is the prototype and there is only one available, it is one of the rewards for the $3000 pledge.
The Spiney Chair
The Spiney Chair is another of Andrew’s first personal creations and is an ergonomic chair tailored to the spinal contour of its owner. Andrew will design the chair based on the specific body measurements of its owner and will personally deliver the chair. Due to the size of the chair and the need for customization, we can only deliver to destinations a days drive from Brooklyn, NY (approximately DC to Montreal). This is our reward for the highest pledge level of $7,500.
What will the money be used for?
Designing the minimal surface chair was a challenge. But actually making it will be costly. We have devised a fabrication strategy which will require the use of computer controlled fabrication machines, laser cutters and three dimensional printing machines, all of which will be very expensive.
You can join us in making architectural history by making one of the pledges to the right. You only end up paying the amount you pledge if our total funding goal is met and all you need is a credit card. Payment is handled by Amazon’s secure payment system.
Another way you can join us is by following our Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/msurfaces and joining our community on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TheMinimalSurfaceChair). The more Twitter retweets, Facebook likes and posts you make referring to our Kickstarter page and website, the more awareness our project gets and the closer we get to making the Minimal Surface Chair a reality.
Please see the biography section to the right below the rewards.
Chief Designer Andrew Miller worked with Toyo Ito in 2010.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
- (30 days)